HomeHome & GardenHow to get your guest room ready in time for Christmas hosting

How to get your guest room ready in time for Christmas hosting


Last winter, a friend invited me to come home with her to North Yorkshire. I soon learned that she is from a village where cottages and manor homes carved from honeyed stone are folded into hills dotted with sheep. It’s the kind of place where Barbour-clad locals always seem to have a hunting dog in tow and every meal of pub classics concludes with sticky toffee pudding. Our getaway took a The Holiday-esque turn (sans whirlwind romance with Jude Law) when the air turned as crisp as a ginger snap and fluffy snow settled over the landscape like a down comforter enveloping the garden.

With trains back to London cancelled, we gladly embraced the yawning gap between obligations and each night I fell asleep in her deeply spoiling guest room with its velvet curtains, perfectly placed lamps, stack of glossy magazines, and chenille dressing gown hanging on the ensuite bathroom door. The weekend turned into an entire week. And even then, I had no desire to leave. You see, the room itself was an embodiment of phenomenal hosting. Thus, I feel it is my duty to stress that your spare room deserves this same sort of proper consideration – making your guests feel like a priority, not an afterthought.

With Christmas approaching, our homes are soon to be filled with guests. First things first – if you haven’t done so already – spend a night in your spare room, looking out for areas of improvement. Are plug sockets difficult to reach? Is there adequate bedside lighting for reading? Is it drafty during the night? Perhaps most importantly, is the mattress comfortable?

Speaking of beds, there are fewer greater gifts to give guests than freshly laundered, high thread-count sheets. Choose a bedding style that will add character and sumptuous texture to the environment, without imposing too much of your own idiosyncratic taste. A neutral frilled pillowcase or duvet cover with an endearing scalloped edge achieves this, creating a playful look that remains tasteful. Look to quality bedlinen designer Sheridan for some elegant examples. In smoky shades of blue and rose, their Tamber collection boasts a lustrous sheen and curve appeal with its charmingly wavy border.

With rising energy costs, keep in mind that visitors may feel awkward asking a host to crank up the heating. In addition to a downy duvet, make sure that the bed is layered with throw blankets so that your guests can decide how much warmth they need.

LSA’s Mia Carafe & Tumbler mouth-blown glass

(LSA)

Beside the bed, provide reading material, lamps that emit warm light, and a water carafe with glasses. LSA’s Mia Carafe & Tumbler set is mouth blown from 100 per cent recycled glass, giving it a subtle green tint. The stackable design has a casual, utilitarian feel, welcoming your guests to drink from them without hesitation. For some added yuletide cheer, place a matching Mia Collection vase on the opposite bedside table, filling it with pine sprays, dried hydrangeas and winterberry sprigs.

Space is often scarce in spare rooms, making clever storage a must. Instead of a bulky wardrobe, opt for a hanging space with open shelving such as the mid-century icon the String System. This Scandi-chic modular storage solution can be a wardrobe, clothes rail and shelving unit in one, made from lengths of wood that are held in place by two ladder-style supports. Make sure to stock it with plump hangers – not those last-resort skinny metal ones from the dry cleaner. Additionally, a full-length mirror will always be appreciated by guests, giving them somewhere to evaluate their festive ensembles ahead of unwrapping presents and attending Christmas dinner.

Smart storage with the metal string system wardrobe

(String Furniture)

Lastly, consider the small luxuries that leave a lasting impression. I’m convinced there are two types of travellers: those who, upon checking into a hotel, beeline to the bathroom to discover the miniature toiletries (that they totally plan on taking home with them) and those who don’t. In honour of the former, fill your guest bathroom with outstanding products alongside a plush dressing gown and wicker basket of wonderfully soft, extra towels.

While it may seem obvious that we should take care of the skin on our bodies the same way we do our face, a body regimen is often neglected. Stock the guest bathroom with Verso Skincare’s Body Collection Kit, which includes a gentle body oil cleanser, a peel formulated with chemical and mechanical exfoliating ingredients to promote the appearance of soft, glowing skin, and a body lotion to soothe dryness and nourish dull skin – all of which can be purchased at Feel Unique, Liberty or Space NK.

Pamper yourself with a body collection kit

(Verso Skincare)

Keys Soulcare’s Reviving Aura Mist also deserves a spot on the guest bathroom vanity. This naturally rose-scented face mist can be spritzed freely by guests, restoring their skin, their room and their chakras to a state of balance and alignment with a refreshing burst of hydration and a calming rose scent. By blessing your guests with these dry skin saviours this winter, they’ll leave your home glowing, perhaps associating that radiant feeling with your fabulous hosting.

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